AGUSTIN DELGADO played another 90 minutes last night and declared: "I'm very happy at Southampton."

He spoke out after making his third appearance in the red and white stripes of Saints in little over a week.

The Ecuadorian striker was unable to stop a strong reserve team from losing 2-0 to Fulham, but more importantly for Saints it was another huge step on his comeback trail after almost a year in exile with knee and calf injuries.

In that time there have been numerous rumours about Delgado's commitment to Saints, particularly after he arrived back almost a month late for pre-season training.

But last night the £3.2m man was keen to set the record straight.

He said: "The preparation for me has been tiring but very good. I am very pleased to be playing again, it's good for me and it's good to play.

"Having some reserve team games is necessary for me, but I have been preparing every day so it is very satisfying to come back."

The 27-year-old spoke without a translator following intensive English lessons over the past few months and added with a smile: "I'm very happy in Southampton. I have no problems here, it is very good."

Saints fans certainly showed their appreciation of his first-team return on Sunday against Fulham when they greeted his arrival on the pitch with a rapturous standing ovation.

And his appearance last night was clearly a factor in the big St Mary's crowd of 8,022, who again cheered his every touch.

Fellow players and club staff have also been quick to welcome Delgado back.

Reserve team manager Steve Wigley said: "It is important that he has got another 90 minutes under his belt.

"He probably should have got a goal as two or three chances went begging, but hopefully he will save the goals for Old Trafford and Blackburn when it will be most beneficial to the club."

Defender Garry Monk added: "Delgado fits in perfectly and the lads have a good laugh. He is not yet fully fit, but that comes with games.

"I hope he will be back in scoring form soon."

Monk, 23, also admitted he was looking for a club to take him on loan, saying: "I've not had a run of games and I am at the age where I want to be playing.

"I've learnt a lot at Southampton but I am hoping some sort of loan deal comes up soon as I just want to get a few games under my belt."

Monk has already had loan spells at Torquay, Stockport and Oxford while at Saints.

Goalkeeper Alan Blayney has gone on a month's loan to Stockport.

Fabrice Fernandes and Chris Marsden are signing copies of the new edition of The Saints Mag at the Saints Store in WestQuay on Thursday, 31 October at 4pm.